Adventures in Japan
Adeventures in Japan is going to be different from what you usually see from me as there will be no science involved, and I will be primarily talking about travel, specifically traveling in Japan, which is the mecca for anime fans around the world. As I’ve mentioned on the course syllabus page, I have been to Japan twice for a total of almost 9 weeks. Two months is a long time in any country, and I saw much of the country, including some areas that are a little off the beaten path for an American tourist. Also, for those of you who know me, you know how my trips tend to end up, and for those of you who don’t well, I tend to have the bad luck or good luck, depending on who asks, of always having the most interesting adventures when I travel. As such there is far too much to pack into one or even a few blog posts, so I wrote a book about my travels that you can find on Amazon.
Adventures in Japan is part travel guide and part travel diary so you can learn what to see and do in Japan, and what not to see and do in Japan, based on my own experiences. I’ll give you tips on where to stay, like ryokans, which are the Japanese version of a bed and breakfast which are usually the same price or less than hotels, and include some meals. Then there are the interesting tours like kayaking the canals of Tokyo. Yes, Tokyo has canals and at one point they had more canals than Venice.
Don’t worry it’s not all about Tokyo as I made it to 33 cities on Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, Hokkaido, and the Ryuku islands.
Kushiro- Not much to see but a nice starting off point.
Lake Akan- Yes, Japan still has some bears, but the scenery is beautiful.
Abashiri- Make sure you go to the prison museum and not the actual prison.
Asashikawa- Sake brewery tours.
Sapporo- There is a lot to see and the people are very friendly. You might just be asked to join a party when at an izakiya for dinner.
Otoru- A quaint little town with some interesting history from the Meji period.
Noboribetsu- lots of hot springs and skip the Ninja village
Hakodate- The fish markets are like aquariums, but you’re allowed to take them home and eat them.
Hakone- A must see for EVA fans, and history buffs for the remains of the Tokaido. Plus, the hot springs are great.
Takayama- a quaint little town in the alps with great local sake
Shirakawa- It’s like Japanese colonial Williamsburg and it was one of my best nights in Japan.
Kanazawa- It has Samurai, Geisha, and temple districts plus an enormous castle. If you are a fan of Ruroni Kenshin, it is worth the trip.
Nagoya- It has one of the three big Shinto shrines in Japan.
Ise- The Shinto Vatican of Japan.
Nara- The Buddhist Vatican of Japan, with friendly deer, and don’t be surprised by school students looking to talk English with westerners.
Kyoto- It is packed with history and you can see the sites from the Negima manga.
Mt. Koya– It has some interesting vegan cuisine and I recommend bringing snacks.
Osaka- One of the better castles with some interesting history, and, well, let’s just say getting to the aquarium was an adventure.
Himeji- The castle and the garden are great, but make sure to hear the story of Okiku’s well.
Hiroshima- A sobering experience, but it has really good Sukiyaki.
Miyjima- one of the three scenic spots of Japan and the deer are jerks.
Hirosaki- Not much besides an old castle and the Japanese hornet or, as I like to call them, sausages with wings.
Kakunodate- this is a gem of a town with several museums for anyone interested in Samurai history or the Edo period.
Sendai- Not much to see, but I did run into a principal of an international school.
Matsushima- another one of the three scenic spots of Japan
Nikko- Famous for its Buddhist temples and burial grounds.
Nagasaki- Ghost in the Shell fans should go and see the real Dejima.
Kagoshima- A must for Saigo Takamori fans, and there is a volcano in the bay you can hike on.
Matsuyama- A nice jumping off point for the Shimanami Kaido, and if you go to see the castle, take the rope way it’s a lot easier that way. Oh, and it has the famous Dogo onsen.
Okinawa- there is a lot to see, and the island is bigger than you think. Scuba diving or snorkeling is a must.
Ishigaki- the barbeque is to die for
Iriomote- I wanted to see the wild cat but kayaking in the jungle was just as good, just watch out for tropical storms.
Consider this just a teaser of what to expect if you decide to check out my Adventures in Japan currently available Amazon. So, come along with me on Adventures in Japan.